Blue1 arrives in Edinburgh

Scandinavian carrier, Blue1, has expanded its schedules to include a new flight between Edinburgh and Helsinki in Finland. The airline, which is housed at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, will operate the route twice a week from April 2011.

Kevin Brown, Edinburgh’s Managing Director, referred to the addition as a “significant development” for the Scottish airport.

Blue1 is relatively unknown outside Scandinavia, but with the addition of the Edinburgh route next year, it will become one of just two Finnish airlines to offer flights to the UK. The second flag-carrier, Finnair, makes regular trips between Helsinki and three British airports: Edinburgh, Manchester, and Heathrow.

Edinburgh now has 125 flights on its books, including eight destinations in Scandinavia, more than any other airport outside London. The Scottish hub has added an impressive 25 new routes in the last nine months alone.

Despite Finland’s potential as a holiday destination for intrepid Scots, Edinburgh expects Blue1’s latest offering to benefit Scotland’s tourist industry rather than Finland’s. Kevin Brown intimated that the route would be “predominantly inbound”, bringing Finns to Edinburgh and then taking them home again.

However, Blue1 appears to be just as eager to lure tourists to Helsinki, or the “beauty of the Baltic Sea region”, to quote the airline’s Vice Commercial President, Juha Järvinen.

The city is a hodgepodge of new and old structures, from the Kiasma art gallery, a half-crescent of steel, and the glass walls of the Haaga-Helia University, to the redbrick of the Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral. Helsinki is also the Design Capital of 2012, making it an ideal destination for art and architecture buffs.

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